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Essen, Germany – April 20, 2021 – ESFORIN SE, the leading European provider of flexibility solutions for the power sector, today announced it raised a growth equity round led by SET Ventures with participation from sonnen founder Christoph Ostermann and existing shareholders. With the funding, ESFORIN will expand its team, scale up client engagement and delivery capabilities and invest in international expansion to strengthen its market leadership.

Balancing supply and demand in an increasingly dynamic energy system powered by renewable generation is a complex challenge. ESFORIN operates an automated system to monetize the flexibility of industrial and generation energy assets for their clients on the intraday markets through algorithmic trading. This enables a far wider range of energy assets to contribute to the stability of the energy system than only the assets that meet the strict technical requirements for the control need of grid operators.

ESFORIN was started in 2015 by Christian Hövelhaus together with Christoph Gardlo to provide energy market access and automated trading services focused on demand-response services. Before that, Hövelhaus and Gardlo grew natGAS AG into one of the leading natural gas and power suppliers for industrial clients following the deregulation of German and international energy markets.

“Operating somewhat under the radar until recently, ESFORIN has been able to solve one of the most vexing issues of the energy system transition: how to make contributing to grid stability financially rewarding for industrial companies”, said Anton Arts, managing partner of SET Ventures who will be joining the supervisory board. “These companies have the potential to exploit their energy infrastructure in a more flexible way through partnering with ESFORIN. We are very excited about the breakthrough that Christian and his team have realized.”

“Flexibility Services are the key for functioning energy markets with increasing share of renewable energy. I have been impressed by the energy market expertise especially for flexibility of its founding team”, said sonnen founder Christoph Ostermann, who becomes a member of the supervisory board and shareholder. “I’m looking forward to applying my experience in scaling sales and marketing internationally and support the team to achieve their ambitious expansion plans”.

”We are proud to add these respected partners to our investor base and we welcome their long-term commitment to ESFORIN’s success as leading flexibility optimizer for clients”, says Christian Hövelhaus, ESFORIN’s founder and CEO. “We share a vision of contributing to a robust and stable power grid by market-based system optimization and applying the power of radical digitalization and advanced analytics to the challenge of absorbing the vast amounts of new solar and wind power needed to avert the climate crisis”.

Besides ESFORIN’s management who retains a majority position, the circle of existing shareholders includes entrepreneur family König-Trah and ERAME Equity, the family office of German entrepreneurial family with decades of experience in industry. Engelbert Heitkamp, Managing Partner at ERAME Equity and Dr. Klaus Kasper, both ESFORIN supervisory board members since 2015, also welcome the new shareholders and are very much looking forward to working together with Anton Arts and Christoph Ostermann.

Since 2007, Amsterdam-based SET Ventures has invested in European technology companies that impact the future of the energy system. SET Ventures focuses broadly on innovative energy generation, energy distribution and storage and energy efficiency. SET Fund III provides early growth-stage capital to ventures that shape the energy system transition through smart software and services-based business models.

ESFORIN (energy services for industry) is the leading provider of flexibility marketing in the power sector. Started in 2015 by experienced energy entrepreneurs, the company employs 31 people and operates a highly sophisticated automated trading infrastructure on behalf of leading industrial and energy intensive clients. The company is headquartered in Essen and serves clients in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. In 2020, ESFORIN completed over 2.2 million trades on EPEX and expects over EUR 100 million turnover in 2021. For more information please visit

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